FORT WORTH -- Looking for a unique way to fund services for women and children, YWCA Fort Worth & Tarrant County and its homeless clients launched a gourmet sandwich delivery service downtown.
Clients pedal bright orange bicycles to office buildings carrying box lunches that include spicy shrimp heroes, meatball and broccoli subs, and vegetarian ciabattas.
YWCA officials celebrated the start of Power Lunch at a ribbon-cutting Wednesday morning with Mayor Betsy Price. Officials said they hoped the venture would generate up to $50,000 the first year.
Lunches, which cost $10 plus tax, are a sandwich, chips and dessert. The tip for delivery is included in the price.
Aside from raising money for organization services, the venture also employs homeless clients. Four the seven jobs created were filled by women transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency, said Carol Klocek, executive director of the YWCA.
"It's a win for the women, and it's a win for the community," Klocek said. "We want to make it easy for people to order lunch and also know that every order supports women and children served by YWCA."
YWCA officials say they wanted a unique menu, which was planned by Aimee Hunter, a Dallas native and New York City chef. Among the offerings are The Huey, which is a combination of corned beef, cheddar cheese and horseradish slaw. Another features bacon, caramelized onion, havarti cheese and strawberry jalapeño jam on ciabatta bread. Artisan Baking Co. in Fort Worth makes the bread.
YWCA will also cater corporate meetings and parties, officials said. Deliveries are made Monday through Friday and, while there is no minimum sandwich order, officials encourage group orders.
The first lunches were delivered Wednesday to the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau. Price, a cycling enthusiast, cut the ceremonial ribbon but couldn't join the ride during the deliveries because she's still recovering from a bike accident.
YWCA lunches will benefit homeless women and their children, as well as the downtown community, Price said.
"I'm really excited about this," Price said. "This is the latest of new enterprises by the YWCA and we're thrilled with what they're doing."
Nisa Frazier, 55, a YWCA resident and Power Lunch assistant chef, said she loves to cook and is grateful that the YWCA put her skills to use.
"I really appreciate the YWCA giving me a job, putting me on the road to self-sufficiency and making me a better person," she said.
Alex Branch, 817-390-7689 Twitter: @albranch1